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Ex-UBS Client Roessel Cooperating in Tax Case, U.S. Says

Former UBS AG (UBSN) client Wolfgang Roessel, accused of failing to report more than $11 million in Swiss accounts to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, will plead guilty and is helping authorities, a prosecutor said.

Roessel, 72, was charged April 3 with filing a false tax return and appeared today in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Roessel is scheduled to plead guilty next month and pay a $5.7 million fine, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Kay said. Roessel, who is retired, ran a company that made cameras, and he holds several patents, said his lawyer, Lee Stapleton.

U.S. prosecutors have charged nearly 50 U.S. taxpayers with tax crimes since 2009, when UBS avoided prosecution by paying $780 million, admitting it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes and turning over the names of 250 American clients to U.S. authorities. UBS later revealed another 4,450 accounts.

“This is a UBS spinoff case,” Kay told U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer, who set bail at $100,000.

Roessel, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Germany, can travel internationally and take a planned trip tomorrow to Germany and Switzerland, Seltzer said.

“He’s been aware he was under investigation for three or four years now,” Stapleton told Seltzer. She said he had travelled to Europe and voluntarily returned to face the charges.

The case is United States v. Roessel, 12-cr-60074, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale).

To contact the reporters on this story: Susannah Nesmith in Miami at susannahnesmith@yahoo.com; David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey, at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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